If you live with a toddler, you’ve probably seen the blog Reasons my Son is Crying. You may have even submitted to it. I know. A typical conversation in my house goes something like this:
Him: “Mama, please I can have a samich?”
Me: “Sure. Do you want strawberry or raspberry jam?”
Him: (Whining) “I not want jam…”
Me: “Oh, okay. You said you wanted a sandwich, so I thought you wanted jam on it.”
Him: (Now crying and starting to fold in on himself) “I not want a samich!!”
Me: “Honey, it’s okay. Nobody said you had to have a sandwich. Do you want yogurt instead?”
Him: (Now outright wailing and doubled over on the floor) “But I want a samich!!!!!”
There is no such thing as logic. Reason raced out the window the moment the kiddo turned two. My patience is tested on an hourly basis. Toddlers are a volatile bunch.
There are, of course, shining, beautiful moments of wonder, infectious giggles, and sheer joy. But how, you ask, do we help steer our adorable, mood-swinging, whiny, precious little beings into a semblance of a stable emotional existence?
The answer: Pete the Cat!
Pete is a laid-back blue cat who breezes through life’s ups and downs in the calmest of ways. When Pete loses button after groovy button off his favorite shirt:
“Does Pete cry? Goodness, no! Buttons come and buttons go. He just keeps on singing his song: ‘My buttons, my buttons, my three groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my three groovy buttons.’”
Through his many books, Pete – part hippie, part Buddhist – teaches kids that “it’s all good.” He shows them they don’t need to get caught up in expectations and disappointment but instead just need to see things in a “whole new way – the birds are singing, the sky is bright…!”
You can check out this website to learn more about the real Pete, meet fictional Pete’s creator, and look at original Pete the Cat art.
When my toddler turns into a puddle on the kitchen floor, I ask him to think about what Pete the Cat would do. It works. Read the books and try it on your tot — it may help him or her see things in a “whole new way” too.